This may be my last post for the year due to the holidays and travel so I thought I would finish up 2016 with some random thoughts.
- I started posting earlier this year and I’m not really sure how many articles I’ve posted. I keep a running list of ideas that pop into my head: some random, some sparked by comments on the RM Forums and some when I’m working on RM/SW stuff. A few times I come up with great ideas and don’t write them down—only to forget them. That’s frustrating. Obviously Peter has been doing this longer and keeping up a 2 blog/week pace takes quite a bit of discipline. Other RPG blog sites post MUCH less frequently or have lots of contributors to share the load. Both Peter and I have encouraged others to write posts but haven’t really gotten a strong response. That surprises me given the number of people that write fairly long and technical arguments in the RM Forums; I would think they would have other material to contribute?
- I’ve posted up a number of blogs and RM posts regarding to big projects I’ve been working on for over 10 years. Project BASiL (Brians Alternate Spell Law) and SW “Red Atlas” (name inspired by the Redbook used for RMC I). Our SW “Red Atlas” is over 300 pages without charts, pictures, graphics, layout or any creatures and a narrative timeline rather than the standard date timeline and fills in a lot of fundamental information that we needed to address during our own gameplay. More importantly it consolidates all the “world level” info into one tome, drawn from all the canon books that Terry has written. Differentiating world info from local or regional info was a useful exercise—and allowed us to identify gaps in material that could be expanded in a future Master Atlas.
- Priest-King of Shade. Terry has hinted that he’d like to get “Priest-King of Shade” done this year. The module is 27 years in the making—the original manuscript was approved by Coleman in 1989 and sent back with hand-written notes by Terry but life got in the way and ICE when through changes and I never finished it. “Shade” is actually a spin-off of that original project: Empire of the Black Dragon (which is now a separate module I’m finishing up). There has been some speculation on its relationship to “Shade of the Sinking Plain” so I thought I would provide a few answers. In fact, Priest-King was meant to be a re-imagining or ret-con of the “Sinking Plain”—a module that really never fit in with the Loremaster or Shadow World series. I took some of the material from Empire of the Black Dragon and worked to make a loose adaption or “inspired by” module. If you have ever read “Sinking Plain” you know that there isn’t much info that fits into SW—it is very D&D in style and feels like an early Midkemia Press or Judges Guild product. However there were some cool elements that were used for inspiration. Here is an early blurb I wrote for the back cover:
Agyra. Far from the historic events of Emer and Jaiman, this region has been cruelly shaped for thousands of years by both natural forces and the powerful flows of Essence. Scattered and isolated tribes peoples are a legacy of a nation that sunk beneath the waves in millennium past. Monolithic blocks scattered along deserted coasts and leagues of crumbled ruins lying in shallow waters are remnants of a lost civilization.
However, these lands are not dormant. Powerful nations and secretive groups are at odds: a war of not just arms but of politics and commerce. Into this conflict a new power has risen. A mysterious Priest-King and his devout followers have occupied an ancient citadel and are slowly expanding their power across the lands. For the nearby tribes that inhabit the coasts, these newcomers are viewed with outright fear. Rumors of demonic armies, missing children and empty villages have cast a pall throughout these lands.
But adventurers have come nonetheless. Ancient ruins have been discovered: a sprawling city lying submerged in the shallow waters off the southern coast of Agyra. Many believe the ruins date millennia back to the First Era and holds untold wealth and the secrets of the Ancients.
The Priest-King of Shade is a module detailing the lands of South West Agyra and the growing empire of the Priest-King of Shade. This product contains a regional guide, maps and layouts of key places, detailed description of key NPCs and 12 adventures ready to play. Designed for player’s level 5-20. Will you confront the minions of the Priest-King?
- Empire of the Black Dragon. I was focused almost exclusively on getting “Shade” published and let EotBD idle for several years. Now I’m back working on it and hope to have a draft ready for review in the next few months. I’ve always found Ulya Shek the more interesting of the DragonLords and the tech angle adds to the creative design choices. It feels more like a “Fortress” book (MERP) rather than a linear adventure or regional overview module. We’ll see. I had also wanted to tackle Drul Churk but Terry covered him in Emer III.
- It’s amazing how much work has gone into the RMU re-design. Given the fact that it’s all volunteer you really have to applaud the contributors. House ruling professions or combat sequences is quite different than designing a framework for attack tables and critical charts or a foundation for creature development. Yes, some of it is very crunchy and may not need to be in the initial product offering, but it’s a tremendous amount of work. So Kudos to Matt, Vlad, Dan and now Jonathan (sorry if I missed anyone else) for all their effort. I’m sure they have felt unappreciated at times but they carried the load for all of us.
If you are regular reader here at the Rolemasterblog, thanks! If you have an interest in adding your voice to this blog than please reach out to Peter. Best wishes to all on this holiday season.
5 thoughts on “Season Greetings and Happy Holidays!”
I liked MERP’s “Fortresses” series. To the extent that I’ve posted a few times in the forums that I’d like to see a similar series for Shadow World. I think it’s also overlooked nowadays that in “ye olden times” 16 and 32 pages were common sizes for modules (not having to think about printing costs so much tends to make PDFs longer).
Priest-King is around 140 pages plus 15 pages of charts, 25 pages of maps and layouts. Combined with artwork and layout it should come in around 200 pages.
Empire is around 80 pages plus charts, maps/layouts, artwork.
16-32 pages seems very short.
I know, it does now doesn’t it? Yet I’ve been going through a lot of my old stuff, and an awful lot of it was in that range. Some exceptions were late TSR box sets, with a couple of 96/128 page books in them, but I read that they lost money every time they sold one of those.
I am just glad to see more RM material going to press. The more there is the more alive the system appears to the outside world. Good luck with that and have a good Christmas!
No guarantees until its officially “on sale”. Terry has his hands full with his own projects and other ICE books so I understand I’m at the back of the line. Ultimately, I just want people to say that it fits the flavor of SW–I would consider that a success!